Saturday, March 30, 2013

As March winds down and warmer weather flirts with us, I want to take the time to review how my Project 333 for the first 3 months of the year worked.

Overall, 33 items of clothing is WAAAAY more than enough for a season, or, realistically in Chicago, for the 6 months or so in which one must wear winter clothing.  If I have another 33 garments for the warmer weather (with a few items that will appear in both selections), then I think a wardrobe of 66 or fewer garments is a good start, for me, toward minimizing the amount of clothing I own.  Less money spent, less mental morning confusion, a clearer personal style projected to anybody who's paying attention.

Specifically, I had some garments that I loved and wore every week, and I had some (surprising) items included in my 33 that I would NOT choose again...  Lessons to be learned...

I wasn't surprised to find that I loved both of my bulky cabled sweaters, and that my new denim shirt was an absolutely core part of my wardrobe at least once a week.  However, I never seemed to reach for my grey wool skirt very often.  I need to really consider if I like wearing grey as much as I like the idea of wearing grey.  My black pants - I knew I would be happy with them, and my black velvet skirt is still, after 5 years or so, one of my favorite things to wear...

Here's where the real lesson was learned: as much as I liked the concept of red jeans, and the way that they worked in my wardrobe, I found that 9 times out of 10, I'd still reach for my blue jeans.  Now, my blue jeans are a miraculous garment that make me taller, thinner, younger, and make me look like I have long blonde hair, and like I don't WEAR GLASSES.... (okay, they're not THAT amazing).  But a 2nd pair of jeans, when I have 1 pair I adore, and I only wear jeans maybe once a week - it was just not necessary to have them.   And the slate blue turtleneck?  10 years old, merino wool, and for some reason I rely on it.  Grey flannel pants - I could wear them with black, and so they were in heavy rotation. 

I've already written about the failure of the tweed jacket.  I KNEW from the very outset that this wasn't going to work, but it seemed like a good concept, so I fell for it...  Never let the idea of a perfect garment for your wardrobe get in the way of choosing the perfect garment for you.

And the herringbone skirt...  Can't explain why it went awry this winter.  Might just be that it needs a season off, and I'll turn to it again next winter...

Black cashmere turtleneck, argyle cardigan, argyle turtleneck, and white shirt - WINNERS.  They'll be back next winter.

So I have some things to think about - the role of grey in my wardrobe, the fact that I got caught up in the whole "colored jeans" phenomenon and then didn't really make good use of them, and an always-essential reminder that the perfect garment for my wardrobe "ideal" plan might just plain not work in reality.

Anybody else learn any valuable style lessons this winter?

Friday, March 29, 2013

Once you get over the whole gender stereotype issue that many of us have with pink, you have to admit that it can be really pretty...  Very few of us would not be flattered by a color in this range.

Sweater – Joie, earrings – Allegro, skirt – Bottega Veneta, sandals – Aldo, earrings – Tiffany, skirt – Dolce & Gabbana, sandals – Stuart Weitzman 
Sweater – Joie, scarves - Etro, jeans – Ralph Lauren, flats – Cheap Monday,  khakis – Vince, flats – Hogan 
Sweater – Joie, pearls – Blue Nile, pants – Mulberry, sandals – K Jacques, earrings – Irene Neuwirth, pants – Opening Ceremony, gold pumps - Jimmy Choo 
Sweater - Joie, watch – Rado, blouse – Dolce & Gabbana, pants –  Narciso Rodriguez, flats – Repetto, earrings – Georg Jensen, jacquard blouse – Balmain, skirt – St. John, pumps – J. Crew 
Sweater – Joie, scarves - Hermes, white cotton shirt – Equipment, pants – Windsmoor, loafers - Debenhams, white silk blouse – Chloe, skirt – Donna Karan, pumps – Jimmy Choo 
Sweater - Joie, tee shirt – Camille & Marc, white jeans – J. Crew, sneakers – Swell, tee shirt – Majestic, sneakers – Dorothy Perkins

Thursday, March 28, 2013

A Red Sweater for Work

Sweater – Joseph, earrings – Scully & Scully, silk blouse – J. Crew, skirt - Burberry, slingbacksMiu Miu, earrings – Wallis Fashion, pants - Boutique, flats – Tabitha Simmons

A Red Sweater with jeans or khakis

Sweater – Joseph, scarves - Etro, jeans – Ralph Lauren, flats – Banana Republic,  khakis – Vince, loafers – Rebecca Minkoff

Red Sweater - White Shirt

Sweater – Joseph, scarves - Hermes, white cotton shirt – Equipment, pants – Stella McCartney, loafers - Delman, white silk blouse – Chloe, suede skirt – L.K.Bennett, pumps – Salvatore Ferragamo

Red Sweater - White Jeans

Sweater – Joseph, tee shirt – Veronica Beard, white jeans – J. Crew, metallic flats – Sigerdson Morrison, denim sleeveless shirt – Maison Martin Margiela, espadrilles – Belle Sigerson Morrison

Red Sweater with a Flowered Skirt

Sweater – Joseph, earrings – Marni, skirt – Oscar de la Renta, slingbacks – Jimmy Choo, earrings – Georg Jensen, skirt – Dorothy Perkins, slingbacksMiu Miu

Red Sweater with Patterned Pants

Sweater – Joseph, necklace – Amrita Singh, pants – Erdem, sandals – K Jacques, earrings – White House Black Market, pants – Raoul, sandals – K Jacques

Wednesday, March 27, 2013


Better World Shopper is an interesting site.  I can't comment at all regarding the quality or validity of their research methodology, but their conclusions are certainly worthy of consideration.

And I think it's about time that we all come to grips with the understanding that there's nothing inferior, or particularly sinister or distasteful, about used clothing. For one thing, it's not like the clothing you buy at retail is particularly pristine, unworn or sanitary.  Anybody who's ever worked in retail can tell horror stories about what is done to clothing before it's purchased and leaves the store as a "new" garment.

Secondly, I suspect that each and every one of us has access to laundry facilities and/or a dry cleaner. No matter what a garment might have been through before you purchase it, you can restore that item to a state probably cleaner than it was at the time of manufacture.

Of course, clothing does NOT have a memory.  No conscious presence at all.  It carries no karma, no good luck, or bad luck, or any other kind of sensibility.  Clothing is an inanimate tool that we need for decency and protection, and we like for our personal adornment, and the pleasure it can bring to us.

Lastly, let's de-stigmatized this whole "second-hand" business once and for all.  You wouldn't scorn someone for owning antiques.  We need to expand that range of thinking to all kinds of items.  ANYTHING that still has utility and wear in it should be allowed to be used, and worn, and enjoyed, until it's worn out.  If it takes more than 1 person to wear out a garment, then so be it. 

Let's quit being snobs about this, shall we?

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Purple with Jeans or Khaki

Sweater – Iris & Ink, scarf - Etro, jeans – Ralph Lauren, suede flats - Acne,  scarf - Ursidae, khakis – Vince, flats – DV by Dolce Vita 

Purple with simple white shirts
Sweater – Iris & Ink, scarves - Hermes, white cotton shirt – Equipment, pants – Armani, flats – White House Black Market, white silk blouse – Chloe, skirt – Eastex, pumpsAsos
Purple with your summer tee shirts, and white jeans 
Sweater – Iris & Ink, floral tank - Marni, white jeans – J. Crew, sneakers – Keds, tee shirt – Veronica Beard, sandals – Sigerson Morrison
Purple with a blouse, for work 
Sweater – Iris & Ink, earrings – Liberty London, silk blouse – Versace, pants –  Burberry Prorsum, flats – Repetto, earrings – 1928, shirt – 3.1 Phillip Lim, skirt – Orla Kiela, pumps – Butter 
Purple with patterned pants

Sweater – Iris & Ink, earrings – Monica Vinadder, bag – Barneys, ankle pants – Madewell, shoes – kate spade, earrings – Paloma Picasso, palazzo pants – Minkpink, espadrilles – Andre Assous

Purple with patterned skirts

Sweater – Iris & Ink, earrings – Baccarat, skirt – House of Holland, pumps – Stuart Weitzman, bracelets - Baccarat, skirt – Salvatore Ferragamo, pumps – Sergio Rossi

Monday, March 25, 2013

Sweater – Jardin des Orangiers, earrings – Amrita Singh, bag – BCBG Max Azria, checked pants – J. Crew, pumps – Kate Spade, earrings – Alexis Bittar, speckled pants – MaxMara, ballet flats - Lanvin
Sweater – Jardin des Orangiers, earrings – Allegro, skirt – Michael van der Ham, sandals – Alexandre Birman, earrings – Kate Spade, skirt – Bottega Veneta, pumps – Jimmy Choo

Sweater – Jardin des Orangiers, earrings – Gucci, scarves – Hermes, jeans – Ralph Lauren, boots –  Isabel Marant,  bracelet – Coralie de Saynes, khakis – Vince, flats - Lanvin

Sweater – Jardin des Orangiers, necklace – Maiyet, white cotton shirt – Equipment, pants – Armani, loafers - Fendi, opal & pearl earrings – Sandra Dini, white silk blouse – Chloe, watch – Movado, skirt – Eastex, pumpsAsos

Sweater – Jardin des Orangiers, tee shirt – Equipment, white jeans – J. Crew, espadrille sneakers – Rag & Bone, tee shirt – Reiss, espadrilles – Belle Sigerson Morrison

Sweater – Jardin des Orangiers, earrings – Banana Republic, silk blouse – Dries van Noten, pants –  Burberry Prorsum, flats – Repetto, pearl earrings – Majorica, shirt – L.L.Bean, skirt – Calvin Klein, pumps – Jimmy Choo
What a rich, delectable color this is, and it seemed to go with all kinds of other colors...

And check out the tool bar on the right side of the screen (it's just a narrow black bar until you drag your cursor over it); I've FINALLY posted a photograph of myself on my profile!  Taken on a train in Italy... sigh...

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Sweater – Burberry Brit, tee shirt – Equipment, white jeans – J. Crew, flats - Lanvin, tie-dyed tee shirt – Proenza Schouler, yellow flats – Emilio Pucci
Sweater – Joseph, earrings – Astley Clarke, scarves – Hermes, jeans – Ralph Lauren, boots –  Officine,  earrings – Miguel Ases, khakis – Vince, loafers - Gravati
Sweater – Burberry Brit, white cotton shirt – Equipment, bracelet – Stella McCartney, pants – Thakoon,  boots - Acne, opal earrings – Vaubel, white silk blouse – Chloe, watch – Movado, suede skirt – Ralph Lauren, tights – HYD Cristalle, pumpsMaison Martin Margiela 
Sweater – Burberry Brit, earrings – Hari Jewels, silk blouse – Dries van Noten, pants – Sportmax, lace overlay flats – Giuseppe Zanotti, opal earrings – Kimberly McDonald, shirt & skirt – Burberry, pumps – Frye
Sweater – Burberry Brit, earrings – Carolee, skirt – Michael van der Ham, sandals – Alexandre Birman, earrings – Kate Spade, skirt – Bottega Veneta, pumps – Jimmy Choo 
Sweater – Burberry Brit, earrings - YooLa, bag – Big Buddha, floral pants – Thakoon, flats – Gucci, earrings – Alexis Bittar, capris – Uniqlo, ballet flats - Lanvin

Friday, March 22, 2013

You do understand that a grey cardigan with a v-neckline can be worn in all of these ways.  It's easy to forget that you can just button all the buttons and - voila - a v-neck sweater!
Sweater – Burberry Brit, earrings – Astley Clarke, scarf – Liberty London, jeans – Ralph Lauren, boots –  Toms,  earrings – Miguel Ases, scarf – Paul & Joe,  khakis – Vince, ballet flats – Stuart Weitzman

Sweater – Burberry Brit, brooch – Judith Jack, white cotton shirt – Equipment, grey wool pants – Reiss,  loafers - Premiata, earrings – T Tahari, white silk blouse – Chloe, watch – Movado, tweed skirt – Debenhams, tights – HYD Cristalle, pumpsChristin Michaels
Sweater – Burberry Brit, tee shirt – Dorothy Perkins, white jeans – J. Crew, shoes - Beirn, rose tee shirt – DKNY, rose flats – Sperry Top-Sider

Sweater – Burberry Brit,  bag – Nine West, jacquard pants – J. Crew, flats – J. Crew, earrings & bracelet – Georg Jensen, scarf – Brooks Brothers, plaid pants – Ralph Lauren, loafers – Ralph Lauren

Sweater – Burberry Brit, earrings – Hari Jewels, silk blouse – Dries van Noten, grey pants – House of Fraser, flats – Chloe, necklace - Lanvin, shirt – Robert Friedman, skirt – Paule Ka, pumps – Calvin Klein

Sweater – Burberry Brit, earrings – Baccarat, skirt – Dries Van Noten, pumps – Rockport, earrings - Baccarat, skirt – Reiss, pumps – Acne

Thursday, March 21, 2013

As before, you will see some familiar garments and accessories.  To me, it is a delightful surprise to start preparing a post with a new color of sweater, readjust my aesthetic brain to that color, and then find that there a lot of flattering "common ground" with previous posts that I've done...  Today I was particularly delighted to see how well yesterday's coral tee shirt and flats flattered the navy sweater and white jeans.  Although I think green and navy might be a new favorite for me!

Sweater – Burberry Brit, tee shirt – Dorothy Perkins, white jeans – J. Crew, shoes - SWIMS, peach tee shirt – Weekend by MaxMara, peach flats – Nude

Sweater – Burberry Brit, earrings – Anita Ko, scarf – Sperry Top-Sider, jeans – Ralph Lauren, boots –  Jil Sander,  earrings – Gabrielle Vallarino, scarf – Kirsten Gilder,  khakis – Vince, ballet flats - Repetto

Sweater – Burberry Brit, brooch – Judith Jack, white cotton shirt – Equipment, grey wool pants – Reiss, oxfords – Robert Clergerie, earrings – T Tahari, white silk blouse – Chloe, watch – Movado, tweed skirt – Debenhams, tights – Sternlein, boots - Clarks

Sweater – Burberry Brit, necklace – Tory Burch, bag - Gucci, jacquard pants – Mulberry, flats - Frye, earrings – Georg Jensen, scarf – Brooks Brothers, plaid pants – Ralph Lauren, loafers – Brooks Brothers

Sweater – Burberry Brit, silk blouse – Boy by Band of Outsiders, scarf – Etro, navy pants – Stella McCartney, flats – Chloe, earrings – Astley Clarke, French blue striped shirt - Equipment, bracelet – Mawi, navy skirt – Diane Von Furstenberg, pumps – L’Autre Chose

Sweater – Burberry Brit, earrings – Amrita Singh, floral skirt – Erdem, pumps – Oscar de la Renta, earrings - Baccarat, skirt – Prabal Gurung, pumps – 9 West

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

I never wear camel, because it's wicked unflattering on me, but I love the look of it...

At it's simplest, the sweater with jeans or twill pants. A scarf, and some pretty earrings, and you're good to go. Note that the shades of camel don't have to match exactly.

Sweater – Uniqlo, rose quartz earrings – Glacier Jewellery, scarf – Scotch & Soda, jeans – Ralph Lauren, boots – Stuart Weitzman, earrings – Gabrielle Vallarino, scarf – futabaya, khakis – Vince, ballet flats - Repetto
A long line of camel and brown, with a simple white or cream shirt, is the easiest outfit in the world.  Simple gold jewelry is all you need; a watch might be enough!

Sweater – Uniqlo,  necklace – 10 Bells, white cotton shirt – Equipment, brown wool pants – Lauren by Ralph Lauren, boots - Topshop, earrings – Roberto Coin, white silk blouse – Chloe, watch – Citizen, suede skirt – Ralph Lauren, black tights – Missoni, boots - Clarks
With white jeans (or cream/ecru) you have the opportunity to break out your favorite summer tee shirts before the weather's actually "tee shirt warm".  This is also a chance to sneak your favorite ballet flats back into circulation, to pull the whole outfit together.

Sweater – Uniqlo, tee shirt – Equipment, white jeans – J. Crew, tri-tone flats  Belstaff, peach tee shirt – Weekend by MaxMara, peach flats – Nude
With a camel skirt or pants, you have a perfect basis for almost any blouse...

Sweater – Uniqlo, quartz & pearl earrings – Majorica, silk blouse – Dolce & Gabbana, camel pants - Chloe, flats – Chloe, topaz & turquoise earrings – Scully & Scully, turquoise cotton blouse – Fran & Eileen, camel skirt – Mango, pumps – Miu Miu
The simplicity of the sweater is a perfect balance for pants that have some... busy-ness... about them. As always, accessories are what makes it look like an ensemble, and not just a random collection of garments.

Sweater – Uniqlo, necklace – Tory Burch, clutch – Dorothy Perkins, jacquard pants – Erdem, pumps – Jimmy Choo, black diamond earrings – MPL, scarf – Pierre-Louis Mascia, tweed pants – Dolce & Gabbana, loafers – Bettye Muller
And a very "out there" jacquard or metallic skirt is calmed down with the sober, but still elegant, note that the sweater lends to the outfit.  And it makes a great background for jewelry...

Sweater – Uniqlo, necklace – BaubleBar, floral jacquard skirt – Stella McCartney, pumps – Salvatore Ferragamo, necklace – Roman Luxe, silk skirt – Gaspard Yurkievich, pumps KG Kurt Geiger
Please note that some of the garments and accessories that I showed with the black v-neck sweater on  Monday are making a reappearance today with camel.  This is NOT laziness on my part (some readers accuse me of the most amazing things...); I do this deliberately to show how versatile some pieces of clothing, and some accessories, can be in your wardrobe.  Every piece I show is carefully chosen to look beautiful, and to help you visualize how this might work with your own wardrobe...